Day 24 - The situational battle rages on
Tero has developed a way to test the day's skiing condition: in the morning, when leaving the entry of the tent, he throws a (rather stout steel cupped) shovel out the door. If the shovel falls in front of the door and you can see it, the weather must be good.
Well, today the shovel disappeared to the left. A bit like a paratrooper jumping out of a Fokker.
It didn't help but to go outside. The same phenomenon that moved the shovel had pretty much piled up snow dunes on the sides of the tent. We dug the tent out and got on skis. As expected, the terrain was the same as yesterday. That is really sticky stuff. Now only Antarctica threw an additional spice into the game: a 15m/s wind that throws that same dry snow, like throwing sand into gears. The wind is also surprisingly strong against men and sledges, and the pace slows down forcefully.
Five minutes after setting off, we had to give up: the half-skins didn't like it, and neither the sledge nor the man moved. We couldn't move forward. So we cut the top skins from our long skins and placed them in the front of the half skins, and continued with them. Now it worked, but it was really, really congested. One of the toughest weathers we've ever skied in. Fortunately, however, the visibility was good.
After four hours of struggling, the wind suddenly calmed down, and at the same time, the terrain levelled out a bit. Suddenly it was almost pleasant to ski. When we reached the tent site in the evening, it was already almost warm. This is a special place indeed.
In the picture of the day, Mikko pushes forward. Snow moving on the ground cannot be seen properly in the picture; it requires imagination. When taking pictures with a cell phone in that weather, it doesn't come to mind much to dig for (long) exposure time settings; the fingers freeze in seconds.
|Wind||15 m/s S|
|Ski hours||8 h|
|Distance||21.4 km (2.7 km/h)|